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 Post subject: trying to stablize
PostPosted: Wed Jun 02, 2010 5:45 pm 
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Well, the good news is it's now been about a week since I used H or methadone or anything other than the suboxone and my regular antidepressant meds. I started taking the prozac a couple of days ago and even though it isn't usually supposed to have an immediate effect, I think I might be feeling some better as a result. At least I'm spending less time in bed sleeping or laying around. As for the suboxone--I've been taking between 8 and 16 mgs usually dosing twice a day, only a couple of hours apart in the morning or early afternoon (for the second dose). I feel this is some improvement--I'm not really taking less, but I'm taking it less often. I know I should really only take it once a day, or if twice, probably it should be morning and night, not first dose and then second dose a couple of hours later. I still am having trouble making a solid plan and sticking to it. But I really don't think asking someone to help me by holding my suboxone for me is a good idea--my relationship with the one person it makes sense to ask is already complicated and rocky enough. Talking to my doctor is a great idea, but I don't want to--I don't think I'm going to do that now. When I hear myself here, I dont' feel like I'm painting a sympathetic or serious picture of myself at all. Why can't I just take 4 mgs a day and stick to that? OR 8 mgs a day and stick to it? And if I cannot monitor myself, why don't I ask for help from doctor or close friend or family? Well, I feel I cannot. Or at least, that it is better right now for me to try to handle it. In the past I was much more honest about my addiction and honestly, most of the time I'd have to say it only made things worse for everyone. And I feel I'm doing the best I can here, and I'm handling it--this isnt' great, but, I'm just struggling. I did go to the rehab that my doctor recommended last year and it really did not help me at all. Yes, I could have given it more of a chance. But it really wasn't offering me anything except more exhaustion and frustration. I was not at a point where I just needed to be SOMEWHERE every evening in order to not be getting or doing drugs. I don't think I'm at that point now either. Going to meetings to keep from using has never worked for me--trying to get through an hour or two when I want to use has never helped much--If I want to obtain drugs and it's possible to, delaying for an hour, or even a day, has never been a technique that worked for me. It maybe just makes me even more obsessive about wanting to get high. So...what AM I going to do to help myself? I'm going to continue to try to stabalize on my own and continue to postpone seeing my doctor for a while yet. I do feel that at least it is positive that now I'm not taking any other opiates, and that is really important--if I can stick to that that would be really good. BUT...I DO still want to get high. And even though I now am at a point where the suboxone keeps other opiates from working for about 3 days, I'm sure if the opportunity came to me to obtain other opiates I would and then unlikely I would wait more than a few hours max before trying to get high. Compulsive. I know this sounds pretty stupid, but I'm being honest. It may sound completely lame to people in "serious recovery" but at least I'm being honest. I really feel the best I can do right now is hope that I do not seek out opiates. Saying anything else would just be a lie. There are so few people I feel I can be honest with about this, but I['m serious when I say that in the past my honesty has almost always just made things worse, much worse, for everyone. I would like to be able to be honest with my doctor at least, so I will try to work towards that in my mind...I think, when I finally go to see her, I should be as honest as I can, but maybe I do not have to go into too great detail about my exact struggles with dosage and relapsing. I guess my worst fear is that my doctor would take the option of suboxone away from me. It's possible that would be the best thing--for me to just get off subs and hope that I can stay off H and other opiates now that I'm not in as close proximity to a source. But..I'm afraid I'll end up worse off,just using whenever I can and being dope-sick when I can't get dope. I'm afraid too that if my doctor puts restrictions on me like I have to try rehab again if I want to stay on suboxone or something I won't do it. I could not afford rehab now anyway. Best case though, I think, would be if my doctor and I worked out a plan that made me more accountable. I'm jsut not sure what is realistic, and honestly, not sure what I'll accept. OR what would help. Knowing that I might run through my 'script too fast IS on my mind, as a consequence of taking more than I should, but...I keep doing it anyway. I'm thinking, maybe 12 mgs or so really is the dose I need to keep cravings at bay.

But about my sub dose--I took 12 to 16 mgs total the last couple of days and I do feel better than I did a few days ago, and I am being more consistent too. But my GOAL was really to just take the 8 mgs. So I'm going to try to stay at 12 mgs a day for now and try to do it in one dose.....what seems realistic though is to do it in two doses in rapid succession--that is, the entire process of taking the 12 mgs might take about an hour. I've also been trying to maximize absorption like everybody talks about. I break the pills and they dissolve pretty quick under my tongue. I'm trying to spread it around my mouth and not swallow fora at least 10 minutes. The thing is no matter what I do I seem to salivate a lot.

Anyway, what I'm finding, is that after I take my second dose every day, then I have been feeling a lot less cravings--I'm able to let go of the obsessive desire to use SOMETHING to try to change how I feel. I don't know, but maybe I do need to be on 12 mgs to keep the cravings down. less seems NOT to be working in terms of cravings, though I have so far not experienced anything that I could be sure was physical Withdrawal, n o matter how little sub I've taken, or even going a day without taking sub or other opiates.

Anyway, I hear the advice people have been giving me, and I appreciate it, and I recognize the points being made to, but this is the honest report of what I'm actually doing. I know I should see my doctor and tell her the truth, or consider trying to get a different doctor. I know I should take a consistent dose of sub and at consistent intervals. I know that if I'm not able to achieve these goals on my own I should try something different. But at least what I've been doing is better than using H or other.

BTW does anyone know what happened to Ginger? I've been looking for a recent post from her but havent' been able to find anything since that last meeting.


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 02, 2010 6:57 pm 
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I can hear you're in a tough spot, Auto, and I feel for you. I recognize that you are being honest with us and with yourself and regardless of what you're saying, I agree with you that your honesty is important. I respect you for laying it all out like you did. I think the fact that you recognize your struggles will help you to deal with them. It really is the first step. And I hope you know we're here for you.

I think that initial feeling of "if I had the chance to get high I would" is normal in the beginning of treatment/recovery. I felt that way too, but now 17 months later I made it. And I believe that you can, too.

As for your dosing, why not stay at the 12 mg for awhile and stop pressuring yourself to get to 8? Forgive me for not remembering, but how much are you prescribed? I know you're struggling with dosing once per day, but cut yourself some slack. Again, in the beginning of treatment many people are prescribed two or three times a day dosing. After stabilizing, you can go down to 8 mg once a day. I honestly think the more pressure you put on yourself right now the harder it's going to be for you.

Keep posting about how you're doing. I honestly think expressing yourself really does help. Hang in there.

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-I'm only responsible for what I say, not for what you understand.


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 02, 2010 7:33 pm 
hey auto, I just left you a reply under your other thread before I saw this post. I can just add that when I used drugs while on Sub I didn't want to tell my doc either. But I finally did ( and then did it again and had to confess a second time) and he didn't threaten to kick my out of the program, he just tried to help me get back on track. It sounds like you're leaning toward telling the doc and I would support that decision. Also, they say an addict alone is in bad company. I understand your discomfort right now with meetings and the like. But try to get out and talk to someone in the real world. It really helps to have someone elso who's clean to relate to. I know it's easier said than done, and I'm a huge isolator myself. But it just sounds like you're having a tough time, so try to get yourself out there if at all possible.
Good luck,
Lilly


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 02, 2010 9:17 pm 
Hi Auto. I'm sorry things are so difficult right now. Everyone has already given you great advice and words of wisdom. I have to second what Hatmaker said and tell you to cut yourself a little slack. As she said, it's not uncommon at all to do dose more than once a day or bounce your dose around a bit each day during that first week or even two on Suboxone. It's all about finding a dose that is enough for you to avoid the physical w/d symptoms and keep the cravings to a minimum. It seems that dose varies some from one person to the next. I think it's also quite natural to want to feel 'better' or 'different' with the medication. While I never really felt any sort of a high or anything really resembling a high when I started Suboxone, I know I've read many people say that they have. I would imagine that when that stops, it would leave one not knowing what they feel or what they're supposed to feel. Add to that the fact that we're used to the feeling that our former drug of choice gave us and it's a recipe for exactly how you seem to be feeling. It just takes a while to settle in and try to figure out what "normal" feels like. I think one of the most critical things to focus on, rather than exactly how much and how often you're taking your Sub, is the fact that you are NOT taking anything else...no heroin, no methadone, no other opiates. Every day you can accomplish that, the better off you'll be. That's not to say that the cravings will magically disappear after a given amount of time. Rather, that the longer you go without relapse, the stronger you will get....the more you'll learn other ways to deal with those cravings, the healthier and the stronger your recovery will become. So hang in there with this and hopefully, given time, you will get better. I'm glad you found the site and that you feel comfortable enough to be honest here. I know how hard it can be to open up to the people around you, especially when having done so in the past rendered less than optimal results. However, this has to be about what's best for you. It's so important that you become stabilized and get your recovery on a good track. It's too bad that so many of our loved ones have such a poor understanding of addiction and how hard it really is for us to stay off opiates and get better. That's why it's so important to find and maintain a circle of support from people who do understand. I think all of us here certainly do, so again, I'm glad you're here. I'm hoping things will begin to look better for you soon.

Lilly, I wanted you to know that I read a post of your's on another thread about what happened with your accident and the fact that you had to go on hydrocodone for a while and kind of got off track with it. Now reading here that you were able to be honest with your doctor about what happened and get back on your Suboxone.....well, I just wanted to tell you that I'm so impressed that you were able to do that. That you were quick to realize what was happening and be honest with yourself about it, to me, shows progress. Even though it may have felt like a setback at the time, maybe it was just something you had to go through to realize what we all have to realize at some point if we're to get better.....that opiate addiction is just not something that is cured without a whole lot of time and effort and for me, at least, a good amount of time on Suboxone! Anyway, I hope you're feeling better and getting 'restabilized.'


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 02, 2010 9:24 pm 
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Hi Auto,

I don't come on the forum nearly as often as I used to so I feel a bit out of touch with your history. But I do know I have read at least one other post from you. I agree that it is good you are being honest with us. That is something and can't really make anything worse for you or anyone else. My doctor doesn't kick you out of the sub program unless you get caught giving away or selling sub. Doctors really do want to help you. If you are honest with your doctor and she wants to kick you out or send you to another rehab, I would simply ask if she will wait till you find another sub doc. It sounds like you are doing ok. It isn't perfect but you are aware of that and working towards something better. It still sounds like forward progress to me. Maybe you could make a plan on your own and if you are honest with the doc you could present your ideas. Such as.....I know I should take sub 1-2x per day but mentally I don't feel ready for it. So I would like to keep doing what I am doing and then 3 days per week, take it only twice. That could be your goal for a month. If your doc is not ok with this and wants to kick you out, I think you need a different doctor anyways. Reason being, addicts need to have some choice in this. We don't do well when we feel forced. We are stubborn. When it is YOUR idea you will do better. This is probably why you are doing better now. The current plan is at least YOURS.

I hope you keep posting and keep hanging on. I think you are better off ON sub and not having it taken away. Just my opinion based on limited information.

Cherie


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 02, 2010 9:51 pm 
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Thank you both for responding. You are reminding me that I'm not by any means alone in my experience adn that does help some. To answer your question Hat, the last time I saw my Doc, back in the end of January, I told her I had run through my 'script a month faster than I was supposed to (at a half tab (4mgs) a day it was supposed to last 6 months, but I ran out in 5 months) and that I varied my dose some from day to day but that a half tab a day seemed to be working for cravings. I did not tell her that I'd been relapsing a lot. So she left my prescribed dose at 4 mgs a day but encouraged me to try to take less.

I still don't understand why dosages vary so much, some people take as much as 24 or even 32 mgs, I hear. As far as physical withdrawal, I bet 4 mgs would be fine for me, maybe even less, but my mental state and cravings clearly are very seriously impairing me. It seems like a higher dose does make some difference in reducing cravings.

Lily, I really appreciate you sharing your experience with me. I do trust that my doctor wants to see me doing as well as I can. I know I should be honest, it makes no sense not to be, but of course, like you said too, I'm ashamed and scared.

I also want to mention that I have the desire to just stop taking suboxone for a couple of days and then try to get back on a lower dose, 4 mgs or 2 mgs.

It's not withdrawal that is the problme, other than mental issues--cravings, depression anxiety, possibly irritability. As someone else said before, I need to get out of the habit of always wanting to reach for a substance when I'm not happy with how I'm feeling. Maybe I should go back to chain-smoking cigarettes I hadn't mentioned it before, but I recently got on Chantix also, I asked my psychiatrist if she could prescribe it so I could try to quit smoking, and I went from heavy smoking to zero to 3 cigarettes a day. I barely think about cigarettes anymore, compared to how I was before, I could barely go 5 minutes without a cigarette literally, but somehow I still havent' been able to quit altogther. I'm still trying. I realy really realy dont' want to go back to smoking all those cigarettes though...and honestly, I'm sure it wouldnt' help ANYTHING, it would just be one thing worse. My life is stressful right now, because I lost my job, and I'm having changes at home too, and interpersonal and financial difficulties in that area of my life too. Anyway, anybody who wants to quit smoking, I have to say, the Chantix has helped amazingly.

Anyway, I think I have to try not to panic, and just keep trying to stablize on the suboxone and at least I feel like I might be able to stay away from the street drugs now, at least in that area, so far so good.

Thanks again for your comments and support.


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 Post subject: one more
PostPosted: Thu Jun 03, 2010 12:48 am 
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Somehow I missed the last two posts before--the ones from Jackcrack and Setmefree. I can't tell you how helpful it is to hear you guys saying that I probably CAN be honest with my doctor. I still don't know if I WILL be but I feel a lot better about the situation. OF course a lot of people probably have the same problem I have, which is, got on suboxone, it worked great at first, then after a while I started having a lot worse cravings again, started using off and on, and/or the other problem of not being on a stable dose. Like I was trying to say above, I have really been having trouble lately because of changes in my life, like losing my job, and other areas of my life as well experiencing difficulties or changes. But losing my job really could be a plus for me since it was connected with drugs for me and now I do have a better chance of getting my addiction into remission with the suboxone. I hope so. I know I have to try and the thing is, it's hard to try, and sometimes it's even hard to WANT to try. Of course I want my life to be better not worse and addiction to street drugs, or even dabbling on the edge of addiction will almost certainly make my life WORSE while stablizing on the suboxone is likely to make my life better. I know I need to stay on the antidepressants, at least one of them too. I dont' think it would be a good idea for me to just abandon the suboxone at this time. It's good to hear about people who told their doctors the truth about their relapses and still not getting kicked out IN my situation, I'm not actually in a program, I jsut get my 'script from a psychiatrist. ON the first visit I got the prescription to suboxone, with 3 refills. I had a follow up in 3 weeks and told the doctor I felt like it made me high, even though I was taking only 2 mgs but that it worked for cravings and I wasn't using (which was all the truth).My doctor responded by telling me that she thought she'd made a mistake prescribing me suboxone and recommended I taper off, but not with a specific plan, and sent me on my way. But I didnt' taper off. When I went back and explained my situation (without the part about sometimes using heroin) the doctor said ok, better stay on the suboxone for harm reduction if it's helping you, but try to get down to a lower dose. Anyway, it leaves me feeling that my doctor doesn't know as much about suboxone as seh needs to, which really surprises me becasue seh is the medical director of a treatment center and also she strikes me as the kind of perosn who would learn a lot on her own even if whatever classes she took on suboxone in her continuing education college courses or to get the authorization to prescribe it just werent' very good classes....In any case, yes, maybe I need more supervision and something else for recovery too. And yes, I still AM worried that my doc will want me to discontinue the suboxone and that I will be worse off if I try that. But I guess now I feel like, and partly in response to the helpful comments you guys have given, that I'm at a one-day-at-a-time point here and the main thing now is to stay off the street drugs. I dont' want to see my doc just yet, I'm still hoping I can stablize myself, at least somewhat, or at least be able to honestly tell her that I haven't been using street drugs for a while, that is, more than the one week that it's been as of now! one week which feels endlessly long to me, but is really such a small amount of time to be off drugs, adn no wonder my depression has been so bad, etc. I can tell I AM getting better because I'm getting a little better perspective on it, I think (and thanks to you guys' comments too). As for more support, I'd have to agree, it might be better if I had more real-world support. I wish I could afford therapy. And that is why the doc recommended the rehab program last year, she said she thought it was even better than individual therapy is, and I had hoped so too, when I saw the brochures about the anger management classes and all the other stuff included, but, for the evening program that I was enrolled in it really didnt' have a lot that I had hoped it would and also I didn't get much individual attention at all, almost none, and as well, there didnt' seem to be a lot of heroin addicts, mostly alcoholics. And especially young alcoholic men from the coastguard, which sends all their guys who get into trouble with drinking to this particular rehab. Not that I have anything against the coast guard, or even the alcoholic cop I met there, I'm just saying, I had trouble finding people I could relate to....Anyway, for me....besides 12-step, maybe one of the other non-12-step plans WOULD be more comfortable for me or even maybe a support group for people with depression or something.

Anyway, thanks again, all of you.


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 03, 2010 3:37 am 
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Hi again, auto,

I think you're right about your doctor - she doesn't know squat about suboxone. Have you considered getting another doctor? Sometimes it's easier to tell a new doctor everything from the get-go rather than to trust a doctor that doesn't seem to know what the hell she's talking about.

If I recall what I've read correctly, 4 mg could be considered around or below the ceiling dose which could account for you still having cravings. Again, this is just what I think I recall having read. And you're right about the different dosages people are on. I'm on 24 mgs - 8 mg three times a day - but I take it for pain, too. (And it helps alot). Many people are stable at 16 mgs, others at 4 or less. So yes, the range is large.

Hang in there and I agree, focus on what you're doing right - that is you're NOT using other drugs. That's HUGE, so put the bat down and start patting yourself gently on the back. You ARE getting better.

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-I'm only responsible for what I say, not for what you understand.


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 Post subject: update
PostPosted: Thu Jun 03, 2010 9:58 pm 
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Just a quick update: today I took 4mg this late-morning during the online meeting. Then I went out, left my subox at home, and investigated a possible work opportunity. It turned out, I could get hired to do some work, and soon, IF this big job comes through for the company. Then there might be more work for me later too. But it's not a steady job or good pay. Still I'd rather work than not and I'm actually interested in what the company does. So my mood really got a lot better, and meanwhile I'm thinking--I'm not going to take any more suboxone, at least not until evening, I can just take it once or twice a day like I ought to, and actually, 4 mgs a day once a day will probably be fine. But I also called the Employment Development Dept to find out how working might affect my making a claim (which I havent' filed a claim yet) and some other questions. I thought it all sounded good, so I called back the guy who has offered me this work, and told him I'll work if there is work, but we discussed it a bit more and he doesn't want to hire me at all, not even for a few hours, not even for one hour, if I might be filing an unemployment claim with him listed as an employer-he says it will make him responsible for paying part of my benefit and he doesnt' want to. If I work for him I will have to list him as my last employer, IF he's intending on giving me a W2 and not a 1099 at the end of the year. I said well, if you give me a 1099 instead of a W2 I dont' have to list you on my claim but he said he can't do that because I'm not really an independent contractor, or something. Bottom line, he didnt' want to do it. I might not even work enough hours for him to get a W2 at the end of the year, but he's had experience with EDD and had trouble with it too. Well, it's not smart for me to do anything that is going to prevent me from getting my unemployment benefits later, I'm also not going to tell this guy that I'm not going to be filing a claim, because more than likely I will have to. And he's not offering me more than piecemeal occasional work and at a low wage tool. Also, it's clearly in my benefit to delay filing my unemployment claim until next month, because of a certain fluctuation in my earnings and the period that my benefit will be based on, depending of when I file a claim. I think if my claim were already filed then it might not effect an employer who might hire me for temp work, though I'm not sure. And I really am pretty certain it's to my advantage to delay making a claim until next month--I am am pretty sure I'll be eligible for a bigger weekly benefit if I delay--bigger enough for it to be worth waiting. Anyway, I'll have to call EDD again tomorrow, hopefully with all my questions written on a list, and get more info, make sure of some details, but it's looking like it's not going to be in my best interest to accept this work. So what am I supposed to do, tell the guy I'll work for free just to try to get in in case there's work later when my claim is filed? Well, maybe I will consider that, but he might think I'm crazy...it's not like it's a great job.... Anyway, while talking on the phone to this guy, and he's saying "look, I dont' want to be responsible for any part of your unemployment " and I'm saying "of course, I understand, but I really want to work, but I can't jeaopardize my own situation, etc" my mood plummets again and I get off the phone, despairing, decide to take another 4mgs of subox immediately. Then I even feel as though I can feel an effect from it, a little. But it seems to wear off immediately. Maybe it's only in my mind. Well, I think the best thing now, is leave it at that, dont' take anymore until tomorrow. But clearly I'm still inclined to try to take it "as needed" for mood and also compulsively when I feel bad. So...I need to stop doing that. Meanwhile, at least I'm still of street drugs. Also, I'm trying to feel good that at least someone was willing to hire me to do some work and trying to think that maybe there's a chance this work opportunity can still work out.

Oh well, not as brief as I intended, but that's where I'm at, and intending not to take any more subox today, which would mean I took 8 mg today (in 2 halves, about 6 hours apart.) Best leave it at that. The compulsion to take more is there still, but I think writing on the forum about my plan helps a little. Also, I really ought know by now--taking a little more, a little more, because I feel extra depressed, isnt' going to help me or do much of anything, except the bad taste in my mouth, and make me feel dumb, AND make me run through my 'script faster than I should and faster than I want to.

Anyway that's it for now. Btw, I enjoyed the meeting today and tahnks again to everyone who's been connecting with me, it means a lot.


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 Post subject: Re: update
PostPosted: Thu Jun 03, 2010 10:15 pm 
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This really isn't about subox, but...

It really sounds like the work this guy is offering you would qualify for at least the borderline reasonable definition of contract labor (1099). If he really won't reconsider, why not set up your own little LLC or Sub S Corporation as a "consulting company" (some states let you file online for as little as $100) and then call him and say, "I formed Autononymous Consulting, LLC so I can work for you." In that case, there are no implications for him with respect to unemployment as you would be working for your little corporation (and you can consult for that corporation too!).

I'm not a CPA or tax attorney, so get some advice but it is at least a way of taking up the work that is available now.


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PostPosted: Fri Jun 04, 2010 8:59 am 
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Hi auto...

I am NOT a tax Atny. or Acct. either But I do Run a family business in the Boston Area... Our Work force can go from 70 - 80 employee's to as much as 150 - 170 employee's in any given year and when it comes to unemployment we ONLY pay on the potion of the employee that he / She worked for us. In other words if someone works a very little for us, Then we are responsible for VERY little of their unemployment claim... So it really shouldn't effect this guy unless the rules are a lot different where you are??? OR if this guy doesn't want them looking at his Business for some other reason???? He really can't ( or shouldn't ) base his hiring on the possibility of having to pay unemployment Benefits!!!! I would guess that would be some sort of discrimination???? This may very well be someone you want to Stay Away from? Anyways BEST of luck in your Job hunt and your Recovery........

God Bless
TW

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 Post subject: he shouldn't but.....
PostPosted: Fri Jun 04, 2010 3:02 pm 
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Hey thanks Deemanchu and Twinply. I know--this guy should barely be affected by hiring me, if at all, in terms of any EDD claim that I may make later. But--apparently he's had trouble before. I think you are right--it probably IS illegal for him to refuse to hire me based on this too but....you know, I can't really get into a big argument with him about it, nor do I wish to threaten him with any kind of legal action or reporting him...I just want to WORK for him. I also am not going to lie to him about my situaition--most likely I WILL be filing an EDD claim next mont. Unless I have a job by then.... Also--the pay for this work really isn't worth a big hassle anyway. Or ANY hassle or argument. At this point I'm thinking of asking him can I just come in and work without pay if we can't work out the thing with EDD--because even though it's not a great job--I'm interested in the type of work. It's not really like a big opportunity for me but...it seems like part of putting myself out there, at the least, maybe he'd be willing to be a reference for me to other prospective employers for me later or maybe hire me later if EDD is no longer any possible issue.

In any case, I'm about to call EDD to try to get answers to all my questions, so hopefully I can then tell the employer that it wont' be a problem for him to hire me...or else....if I can't tell him that, decide if I want to put in a day's work for him without pay just for the experience, and maybe a reference, or if maybe he wants to throw in something...like lunch or possibly some of the supplies used for the work which actually I could use. I'm afraid he's gonna say he can't have any non-employees working because of the possibility of an injury. I hate this--I really just want to work, you know, and it seems like the system is gonna make it more to my advantage to NOT work. But we'll see, I dont' know that for sure.

But Deemanchu is right, this is off the subject of suboxone. My report there is yesterday I just took the 8 mgs and I feel that's a big improvement even though the second 4ms was taken compulsively when my mood plummeted. And I've been off street drugs for over a week--that's not really long, but it is long enough to make some difference. I've also been on the prozac for about 5 days or so and yesterday, when I was talking a lot about the job situation my friend wondered if the proazc is making me a little speedy. I've taken it before and don't think I even had that effect, I think it's just circumstances, but...something to watch out for I guess--I hear it CAN have that effect sometimes.

Anyway, I am feeling a lot better. Much less wanting to die. The only thing is I am sleeping late every day and not wanting to get out of bed. The depression is worst in the morning. And....getting any kind of job lead clearly really effects my mood positively but also....well, it's easy for me to get all excitable and have ups and downs I guess. Getting off opiates--I know a person can go through a manic phase just because of that....

Anyway I havent' dosed yet today, I think I'll dose 4mgs again with the plan that I can take another 4 mgs later (like evening) if I feel I need it, but if not, try to stick to 4mgs in the morning (or whatever passes for morning on my new unemployed schedule every day from now on.

I do feel more positive and hopeful about my chances for any kind of recovery or...addiction remission now. Lots of worries in my life, but....I know being on the suboxone PROPERLY and not taking street drugs will be a HUGE improvement in my life.

Getting on the forum seems like a really big step to me too, and I really feel it's been helpful. It's still the only support thing I'm doing though.


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 Post subject: progress?
PostPosted: Fri Jun 04, 2010 6:40 pm 
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Well, I've spent the day mostly worrying about the job thing, finally found out from the employment office that yeah, if shouldnt' affect anyone that hires me now, but of course I dont' have that in writing, and you know, my other question, the person first told me she couldnt' answer it for sure, only way to know would be AFTER filing a claim and having it reviewed, but I talked to her a little more, repeated my quest, said "gee, i wish there was some way I could know BEFORE filing a claim" and she looked something up and read it out loud and gave me the opposite answer to what she had thought it would be. So, then write to my prospective employer to report what I've learned, but of course I don't know if he'll be reassured enough, I'll still have to give his name to EDD IF I end up filing a claim, and I am pretty certain I'm going to have to, in July. It ;may be illegal for him to discriminate based on all this, but like I said, if that's what he decides, I dont' think I can do much about it, even if I could, it's not worth it.

So what did I accomplish today? Well, these important questions answered (I hope) but it took all day and I'm frustrated and discouraged again, so same thing, I take my second 4mgs in the afternoon--earlier today then yesterday, and again compulsively. The first dose though, I'm not sure I got full effect, because of not waiting optimum time before spitting out the orange saliva, and eating/drinking after. So, trying to hold the second dose in my mouth longer.

So my goal now, at least I have one, is to stay at 8 mgs max and only dose twice a day. And hopefully go down to 4 mgs once a day later, but for now, 8 mgs in 2 doses stablizing to that would be an accomplishment, although I am not sure how to explain all this to my doctor when the time comes for that. As for street drugs, all I can say, is thank god I am not around them, but hopefully I can continue to stay away from them.

Also, a note to Deemanchu--I think a lot of people probably DO have trouble stablizing on sub, adn like you sort of said recognized yourself in parts of my story, well, I bet there's lots of similar ones. I think there's probably good reason why it's recommended to get counseling or be in some kind of program in addition to sub (even though I'm not doing anything myself) and why it would be a good idea to be more closely monitored than I have been. On the other hand, I'm GLAD I'm able to be on the suboxone and I dont' know for sure it I would have done any better WITH more support or supervision. Maybe not, and in fact, if 12 step or rehab were required for me to be on subox, I might have opted out...and private therapy is so costly....At least now I'm getting some online support, and I really feel it's WAY better than nothing, and it even makes me feel more accountable than I did when I was just on my own without ANYONE at all knowing about what I've been going through. I also see the posts from people saying they wish they could get on subox but they can't waiting lists are long, or no money, etc, adn then they hear about people like me on subox and not even using it correctly....well, it makes me feel bad, and it DOES make me realize how lucky I am. And at least I'm making some improvement now, AND trying to really do it right. So....as long as I don't take more sub until tomorrw, and stay at 8 mgs in two or less doses, I'm gonna feel like I'm doing ok for now. I think too, distracting myself and trying to stay busy and on top of all the other stuff in my life, is gonna help my mood and the better I feel the easier it is to follow my plan, and if I follow my plan that ought help me feel better too, so...at least I can sort of see it now, with hope too...

You guys have really helped me some I think, with perspective. And also, I am so glad to have one place where I can be honest and there are people who truly understand and dont' just give me black and white judgments, yet at the same time, I've received lots of helpful practical advice.


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 Post subject: update on progress
PostPosted: Sat Jun 05, 2010 2:52 pm 
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well, I think it's clear I'm feeling more optimistic. I've made some progress too, because now I have more than a week off street drugs and also I am taking less suboxone and less often. However I still find myself taking it compulsively for my mood about once or twice a day. Yesterday I took a 3rd dose of 4 mgs, bringing my total for the day up to 12 mgs. I still dont' know what dose I "should" be on--I do know it would be better to be consistent and to dose only once a day, or maybe twice, but CONSISTENTLY. To be fair though--my entire routine has recently changed--I don't have to get up in the morning at the same time every day any more or anything. So..I now have a goal though, which is to get my dose to 8 mgs a day if possible adn to do that in 1 or two daily doses, and better morning and evening. And to STOP taking it compulsively. I'm taking my morning dose now, and I just realized while writing this that I am not even following the plan I just described--I took 6 mgs (approx) instead of the 4 mgs I'm talking about! My god--and my other goal is to continue to be completely honest on this forum. Wow. This is embarassing and unexpected.

Anyway, I also just got finished telling Christin to think about what shes' doing RIGHT and I have to say, it's a huge accomplishment for me that I havent' sought out street drugs for over a week.

I have paid work today and that helps my spirits. I have no idea how fluctuating my dose all the time and not taking it at the same time may really be affecting me too. Also I'm on a new antidepressent. And almost my entire life is in a period of change so....I think I need to remember that maybe stability in my mood is not an entirely realistic goal. And...everything is likely to get WORSE if I use street drugs, and things are likely to get BETTER if I can stay off them.

My suboxone plan is still not stable. I am thinking I'll take another 4 mg dose sometime this evening.

Thanks to everyone who understands what I'm going through, I feel like I dont' sound totally sane right now. Adn I also feel like people are going to think "you are not serious about getting off and staying off drugs"a nd stuff like that. All I know is I'm doing the best I can, even if it doesnt' sound like that is very good.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Jun 05, 2010 3:10 pm 
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Auto, I think you're doing fine! I also believe you ARE serious about your recovery. You've made tremendous progress - a week without seeking out street drugs. Did you ever think you could do that? I know it's been said before (by you, as well), but I'll say it again - FOCUS ON YOUR PROGRESS. For now, ignore the negatives and hone in on the positives. Once you're stable you'll have plenty of time to figure the negatives out. I think you're doing fine. And please don't worry so much about us judging you - because in all honestly - we're not! We've all been where you are, in some way, shape, or form and we're the last people to throw stones.

As for not having a schedule, well, I say make yourself a schedule! I don't work and I still set my alarm for 6 am every morning. Just because you're not working now doesn't mean you can't make and keep your own schedule. I know it's the depression talking that wants to keep you down, so to speak, and I'm not belittling that depression. I know what it's like. I've struggle with major depressive disorder for over 25 years. So I know how very bad it can get. But I also know that the things that you least want to do are the things that you need to force yourself to do. Like getting up every morning, eating breakfast every morning, taking your sub at the same time, getting a bit of exercise, etc. I know it might sound like a lot, but really it's doable. You CAN do this. Hang in there!

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PostPosted: Sat Jun 05, 2010 8:40 pm 
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Yes, Hat, you're right, the things that will help can be hard to get started at, but I totally agree with what you're saying. I'm not going to set my alarm for 6 a.m. every day though (or ever, unless I have to)!!!!!! But getting up in the morning and trying to accomplish something every day is important to me. And getting outside is important too, and some exercise every day.

Today I went and did some paid work--it was hard work but only a few hours and I feel good about it. But...I'm aware I'm still prone to mood swings that can be pretty severe...

And yes, over a week away from using is a start.. I have to say I AM worried that I'm not committed enough. And...still not stable on sub...and to be honest, still not 100% believing that it won't somehow make me feel better if I take extra when I feel bad. I did it again today.

I saw you (Hatmaker) say something in a different thread about how we unfortunately can't rely on our doctors to know enough about suboxone to help us with all our issues. I'm worried about how I'm going to work with my doctor....I don't know when I'll see her or what I'll say to her. I only have one refill and I'm guessing she will want to see me before refilling again. So...I am hoping I can get my dose down some as well as avoid relapsing before I see my doctor again. I don't even have an appointment, but once I'm on my last refill, I should probably make an appointment. I can't afford to see my doctor very often and she seems ok with that, or almost even discouraging me from having more appointments....

Anyway, I hope I can do as well next week as I did this last....and not slip back in any way....


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 Post subject: oops
PostPosted: Sat Jun 05, 2010 9:14 pm 
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I still don't see how to edit or delete my posts after they are posted....I think it was actually Lily, not Hatmaker, who said the thing about most of our doctors not really knowing enough about suboxone. Seems to me like maybe there really are things only other addicts can understand too. Boy, my mood swings are bad, back and forth, back and forth, I feel so unstable...but...I guess this is really a sign of improvement, before I was just so dismally depressed...


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Jun 05, 2010 9:35 pm 
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Auto,

Didn't you say you just started an anti-depressant? Wasn't it Prozac? Ok, I'm NOT a doctor, but I have experience with mood swings as well and just wanted to add one thing. In addition to my anti-depressant I also take Abilify and Lamictal for mood stabilization. You might want to ask your doctor about something similar. Abilify if often used these days with anti-depressants and usually (according to my shrink) patients respond pretty quickly to it.

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-I'm only responsible for what I say, not for what you understand.


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 Post subject: checking in yet again
PostPosted: Sun Jun 06, 2010 5:25 pm 
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Thanks yet again Hat, I've wondered at times if I should try a mood stablizer...I didn't know that abilify was one. It sure has a great-sounding name, as though it will improve one's abilities somehow. I HAVE wondered if abilify would be helpful, just based on that...honestly though, the names of some of the medications--it makes sense that they would give them names that sound like the effect they are supposed to have, but...I can't help joking about it sometimes, like, I wonder that there isn't a medication for addicts called "enable" or something called "competanze" to help people who feel incompetent, my friend thought of "tolerall" to help people who are intolerant of others, the list goes on...anyway, this is what passes as humor for me, I hope no one takes it the wrong way, I think it's clear to anyone who's been reading my posts that I am NOT against medication for addiction or psychiatric conditions and I wouldnt' mean to make fun of anyone's particular medication issues either.

Well, it's clear to me that not having a regular schedule anymore is hard for me. As I said, I dont' intend to set my alarm clock for 6 a.m., but maybe it would be a good idea to start setting it for 8 a.m. or...making a point of getting up when I wake up instead of staying in bed. I seem to be finding it hard. I know it's easy to start getting up later and later each day and then it makes it hard to get to sleep at night, which happened to me last night.....I think at this point I might be getting too much sleep rather than too little, so that is something for me to watch out for. Sleeping a lot can go along with depression I know.

As for my suboxone issues--yesterday I ended up dosing 3 times at 4 to 6 mgs each, so, I think I have to consider that a setback. Today I've taken one 4 mg dose so far. I guess I'm feeling cravings, and I STILL want to take an extra dose of subox for that--even though I know it's not the right way to handle it.

What I DO feel is huge progress is being off street drugs. I've been off street drugs for longer periods than this since I've been on suboxone, but I just went through a pretty bad couples of months in terms or relapsing constantly and having fewer weeks when I didn't use street drugs. Also I am at a new point in my life--I do not now have any kind of routine set up for obtaining street drugs, so....that is a good thing and if I keep it that way, well, that would be a big improvement.

I still feel really unstable and I'm really worried about having to be self-motivated now that I dont' have a steady job. It is really hard to get started on the things I want to work on. As that relates to suboxone...I still have the thought that taking an extra dose might help me with that issue. It is true that motivation issues are a bad part of WD, AND an early part of it too, I think. I know I have to stop thinking so much in those terms and in terms of wanting to "fix" things with a pill or substance. But it's hard to get there....I think taking ACTION is really important right now, being active and making whatever progress I can on the things I'm trying to accomplish.

I wanted to mention now also, something about my doctor and the issues I've had. I've mentioned that my doctor seems not to know very much about suboxone and that I havent' had much supervision from her. I want to say that I don't blame my doctor for the problems I've had. And also, I don't know that I would be doing any better if my doctor DID know more or supervised me more closely. I AM surprised that my doctor doesnt' know more about how suboxone works, but....I have not shared all my experiences with my doctor honestly...and...I think if I did she would be very interested in what I have to report. I am afraid that she would tell me to stop taking suboxone, and I'm not sure if that is the best idea for me, and also, I'm ashamed to tell her the truth about my relapses. I've seen some other people posting things that make it sound like their doctors aren't interested in listening to them report their experiences with suboxone, but..I think my doctor WOULD listen with an open mind. For all I know, she has learned a lot about suboxone since the last time I saw her. As far as that goes, I'm continuing in the same situation I've been in--I know I should be honest with my docotr, but I dont' want to.

Meanwhile I'm wondering when will my behavior start to follow what I have learned now, so that I will just take a stable reasonable dose of suboxone every day? And..am I at least now at the point where I would not do street drugs if I they were available, because I know I can't even feel it when on suboxone? That at least would be good...to be honest, the last day or so I started thinking about trying to stop taking the suboxone altogether, for one thing, part of me wonders if I would even get any WD (I've always been kind of funny about that--I always think WD won't really be that bad--and...although I HAVE experienced bad physical WD, i think it's always really been the mental part that is the worst...even with the worst physical WD I've ever had, I think I have to admit that its' always been my menatl condition that was the thing that really made me want to use the most).. But...also....I have the idea that if I get off suboxone, I could get high again if I could get street drugs. So...I'm thinking maybe it's a GOOD thing that I don't have the self-control right now to stop taking the suboxone. And that my recent relapses--well, maybe it's been a GOOD thing that I couldnt' feel anything form street drugs for about 3 days adn even then, by the third day...I'm not sure I'd call it a "high." Still....like I said...when will my behavior start to follow what my repeated experience has shown me? Here also, is where I start to wonder if anyone can still understand, let alone sympathize, with what I'm saying. All I can say in the way of explanation is that I guess this is an extreme example of compulsive behavior. Also...somehow I am able to really KNOW what I am doing and KNOW that it is not a good choice but STILL I make the wrong choice. Yet...I have people say things like "well, get some self control!" as though that is an easy solution. I know it doesnt' make sense, but...it's NOT that easy.

Anyway, I don't know if anyone can even read all this stuff that I go on and on about. I just wrote something on anther thread about "expectations" that maybe applies in a way too...so...that's all for now, I guess I have to try to believe in myself and really TRY to do the best I can...it just seems like I'd be doing a little better if I were trying my best..on the other hand, not to forget I'm really less than 2 weeks away form my last relapse, so ..considering that...maybe I AM doing relatively well.

Again, thanks to everyone who's been interacting with me on this forum, it has really been helpful to me.


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